Winter. Frozen earth crunches beneath my boots. My breath lingers in front of my face. And the wind is bitter cold.
Bare branches reach heavenward in prayer to the blanket of clouds that promises a blessing of snow. The faintest strip of grass demarks the roadway from the woods, yet the road leads me on.
Better days I’ve left behind me. My pack is heavy on my shoulders; my soles are worn to nothing. Perhaps better days will come in the miles ahead.
Wherever I stop, people ask me where I’m going. The road is here; I’m going to follow it.
Written for Flash! Friday vol. 3-49. Image: Young hiker @ Gibson Ranch Regional Park. CC2.0 photo by Ray Bouknight.
From the day of her debutante ball, there was war in the hillsides of Darlington county. The battlefield was upper crust bachelordom; the prize, Estella.
Even when we were children, I knew she was special. With her Gram’s name, her mama’s land, and her daddy’s fortune, the man to claim her heart would rule the country club set.
All the belles were dressed in the colors of the season. Gold, scarlet, persimmon; they danced and swirled like the leaves in the wind beneath the spreading oak trees, before the white columns and black shutters of Starmont plantation.
Estella smiled politely at my lone rival, then winked in my direction. The battleground had been washed clean by the tears of the also-rans. With that alluring bat of her eyelashes, I was certain of my victory.
I never noticed her dark horse suitor, the waiter with the hors d’oeuvres tray, standing next to me.
Written for Flash! Friday vol. 3-48, where the prompt was Gone with the Wind, including a man v. man conflict, and a plantation owner’s daughter. Image: Oak Alley Plantation. CC2.0 photo by Corey Balazowich.
It’s the year 2015… a year that seemed to be the distant future when I was a kid. We partied like it’s 1999. We survived The End Of The World As We Know It™ in 2000. We made it!
We’re living in the future! We have smart phones, smart TVs, smart appliances. So… why hasn’t my car smartened up?
Continue reading “Smarter Cars”
Ever since toddlerhood, when Maria opened every tuna tin, and Purrsia anointed Maria her true master, the two had shared a special bond. Maria knew the spot behind the ears where her fluffy feline loved to be scratched, and Purrsia knew Maria’s every mood.
From dim childhood memories into the bright shining future, time marched relentlessly. Tock forever follows tick, and tick tock. Little girls become young women, take fancy to young men, and promise forever. Little kittens become fat old cats, and shed fur on fancy dresses. It was the way of the world: predictable as the sunrise, everlasting as words carved in stone, unavoidable as bullets from a gun.
Maria held the hymnal open, but her blue eyes rolled off the blurred lyrics. The words failed to focus, like writing in a dream. So she mouthed along silently to the somber organ music, swaying like a metronome to the steady measure of the choir.
Alone in a crowded church, when she meant to be front and center and wearing white. Instead, her dress and veil were black like the preacher’s vestments. The sound of gunshots haunted her waking dreams. Purrsia had cuddled in her lap all morning, kneading, rubbing her whiskers sympathetically against her longtime master. White furs intertwined with black fabric such that tears could not wash them away.
The sun set beneath the stone-strewn hillside, and her heart sank into the ground. Maria had always believed there would be new sunrises, but in this marble garden she had seen her future end.
Written for Flash! Friday vol. 3-46, where the novel prompt of the week was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This story includes an odd cat (all cats are odd) and a theme of death. The rather neat image prompt is “Alice in Wonderland: White Rabbit – Who Killed Time?” CC2.0 photo by Brandon Warren.
There he stands, by the preacher, oceanside. Immaculate tuxedo and perfect blond hair glowing with sunlight.
White dress. White gloves. Lanolin smooth skin. Her cherry lips quiver. Today they would tie the knot on the shores of this island paradise. My revenge on her will be black as its sands, treacherous as its tides.
How green his eyes! Like the hills of the Emerald Isle. We were so young and innocent, he and I. Together we kindled a flame that burns my heart like the devil’s brand.
Struggle all you want; the knot won’t come untied. No one can hear you. A shame to stain red such a lovely dress, but honey, you can’t have him. He’s mine.
Written for Flash! Friday vol. 3-45, whose theme was Moby Dick. This story is set on an island, and includes an overall theme of revenge. Image is Naufragos/Shipwrecked. CC2.0 photo by Luis Marina.
“I’ve cheated death!” As the negentropic field faded, Darien surveyed the lava tube. His eyes widened. How long?
It was far too late. A magma flow had crashed through the wall untold ages ago, crushing her negentropy field. Even her bones had long since turned to dust. Thousands of years? Millions? The Pu-224 power core — half-life 80 million years — felt cool against his hand.
Climbing out of the lava tube, Darien saw waves crashing upon a barren shoreline. No advanced civilization here. No cure. No utopia. No happily ever after. Blackness pressed against his eyeballs. He gasped. There was no oxygen!
“I’ve cheated only myself.” He collapsed to the eroded shore. Salty waves washed away his tears. “You win.”
Written for Flash! Friday vol. 3-45, whose theme was Moby Dick. This story includes a man vs. nature conflict, and an overall theme of the power of nature. Image is Naufragos/Shipwrecked. CC2.0 photo by Luis Marina.
Tearful eyes watched as the spiral arms of the Milky Way vanished into the distance. “Oh, Liksandr!” She fell into her husband’s embrace. “Why?!”
Liksandr gazed through the transparent wall of the orb at the ethereal glow of the EM-drive. “The Tronic Progeny work in mysterious ways,” Liksandr muttered bitterly. Titan was one of the safest worlds, yet occasionally the metal-bodied Progeny swooped down from the smog-covered skies, kidnapping humans, hurtling them across the cosmos in translucent vessels for reasons unknown.
“Andromeda.” Zabesh wiped away tears. “Two million light-years in minutes.”
“And two million years back home.” Aalemi. Everyone they knew on Titan. “Dust to dust.” Those reviled descendants of the first robots, the Progeny had far surpassed their creators. Man had spread to a thousand worlds, and was on every one a slave.
“We’ll never know Aalemi’s future,” it dawned on the grieving mother. “Never see her marry. We’ll have to start anew. Just us.”
“Us and the Progeny.” Liksandr spoke the name like a curse.
As Andromeda loomed large in their vision, a projected hologram appeared.
“Aalemi?” Zabesh wept again to see her daughter.
“We beat you here by five centuries!” Aalemi smiled. “So much has changed! Oh…” Aalemi’s hologram stepped aside. A metallic spherical body entered the projection. “Mom, Dad,” she embraced the spheroid. “I’m married!”
Written for Flash! Friday vol. 3-44. The novel prompt was Pride and Prejudice, and this story… has very little to do with that prompt. But there is a mother anxious to marry off her daughters, and an overall theme of family. Image of the Andromeda galaxy is public domain from Pixabay.
Ever since my last post, this site has been getting a lot of search hits wondering about the meaning of Cam’s song “Burning House”.
It’s about a bad breakup.
Well, that was easy.
Continue reading “What is the Meaning of Cam’s “Burning House””
Note: Are you looking for the meaning of Cam’s “Burning House”?
Flash fiction has a lot in common with songs. What can be learned by reading song lyrics as flash fiction? Let’s take a look at “Burning House,” by Cam. If you’re unfamiliar with the song, the lyric video is embedded below.
Continue reading “Burning House, Cam – Flash Jukebox”